Friday 13 November 2015

Rally - Day 1 in Wales

The rain might have held off in mid Wales today, but it was still slippery underfoot – or undertyre! Sebastien Ogier leads in the Polo but Kris Meeke made a strong start to the day in his DS3, grabbing second overall after SS2.

Jari-Matti Latvala went off on SS2 (Sweet Lamb) and Thierry Neuville retired in SS3 (Myherin) after losing a wheel. Kris consolidated his second place later in the afternoon with a fastest time through the 32.14 kilometre-long Hafren 2, avoiding the punctures that blighted some of their rivals.

Tonight Kris said: “Our goal is to finish second in the manufacturers’ championship so we are in the perfect position for the rest of the event. We got off to a strong start because I had a very good feeling in the DS 3 WRC. When you feel confident in the car, it’s much easier to set good times, even when conditions are as tricky as those we had today.”

The other front running Brit, Elfyn Evans finished the day in 8th place after picking up a puncture in his Fiesta half way through the 32 km SS4 (Hafren2). Holding a strong fifth place at the time, Evans said later: "The puncture was a disappointment and not what we wanted from the day but it's just one of those things. We didn't hit anything, but that's just how it goes sometimes. Now we just have to focus on having some fun and really enjoying what are some fantastic stages tomorrow. I prefer the character of tomorrow's stages and we'll be aiming to push on to see what we can do. As we saw today, the road position will make it difficult to reach for the top times but if we can get into a good rhythm and have some fun out there then we should be able to climb a few places."

Leaderboard after Day 1:

1. Sébastien Ogier / Julien Ingrassia (Volkswagen Polo R WRC) 1:16:03.5
2. Kris Meeke / Paul Nagle (DS 3 WRC) +13.5
3. Andreas Mikkelsen / Ola Floene (Volkswagen Polo R WRC) +31.4
4. Mads Østberg / Jonas Andersson (DS 3 WRC) +43.0
5. Dani Sordo / Marc Marti (Hyundai i20 WRC) +1:18.7
6. Ott Tanak / Raigo Molder (Ford Fiesta RS WRC) +1:34.9
7. Hayden Paddon / John Kennard (Hyundai i20 WRC) +2:03.5
8. Elfyn Evans / Daniel Barritt (Ford Fiesta RS WRC) +2:21.6
9. Lorenzo Bertelli / Lorenzo Granai (Ford Fiesta RS WRC) +3:21.5
10. Stéphane Lefebvre / Stéphane Prévot (DS 3 WRC) +3:25.4

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